Web Assist Search Mac

Web Assist Search

Web Assist Search is a browser-hijacking application that can integrate with different Mac browsers and can install new components in them without asking for permission from an admin. Due to these abilities, many users report Web Assist Search as a potentially unwanted program and seek to remove it from their system.

Web Assist Search Mac

Web Assist Search on Mac

Typically, the main reason that Web Assist Search is so undesirable is because, immediately after it becomes part of the system, it starts showing various misleading advertisements and redirect links on the screen of the main web browser. On top of that, the program automatically changes the search engine, the homepage address, the new tab page and/or the taskbar appearance and doesn’t even ask for approval from the user. Most commonly, Web Assist Search affects the work of popular Mac browser apps such as Safari, Chrome and Firefox but other browsers can easily be hijacked as well. This is the reason why it is considered a browser hijacker.

Web Assist Search for Mac

Web Assist Search for Mac is an application that can display  excessive amount of online ads (such as pop-ups, banners, colorful box notification, etc.) on the screen of the main web browser. When users try to surf the web, Web Assist Search for Mac can automatically redirect them to random websites and pages that contain sponsored content.

The most probable effect of keeping a browser hijacker like this one on your computer is that you will start being rerouted to web locations that you did’t have any intentions to visit. There will also be a change in your browser’s search engine settings and the homepage settings. For instance, your preferred search engine and/or homepage domain may be replaced with a different one which will ensure that whenever you start a new search, you will be forced to follow the links and the search results that they generate.

What is Web Assist Search?

Web Assist Search is a browser hijacker representative that can cause automatic redirects of user searches to sponsored websites. Web Assist Search can often be mistaken for a virus which is why a lot of people seek to uninstall it as soon as they detect it.

In reality, however, there is nothing in common between a browser hijacker and a computer virus because these two forms of software have very different purposes and methods of operation. The computer virus is malicious code that is used for criminal purposes and is aimed at destroying the computer or causing some major harm to the owner. Malicious programs such as Ransomware and Trojans, for example are used for extortion, blackmail and theft of data. A browser hijacker such as Web Assist Search, on the other hand, is a tool used for online promotion that seeks to advertise some products and services during your web browsing sessions. At its worst, such software is only a source of annoying advertisements, irritating page redirects and unwanted browser changes.

The WebAssistSearch app

The WebAssistSearch app is a program that seeks to integrate with Mac browsers in order to display sponsored advertisements on their screen. The WebAssistSearch app doesn’t have the harmful abilities of a Trojan horse or a Ransomware virus but can irritate the users with its aggressive advertising approach.

The best way to uninstall Web Assist Search from any of the Mac browsers that might have been affected is to use professional removal tool that can detect and remove all the components that the hijacker has installed. Another method to deal with this software is to manually navigate through the system and remove the related files with the help of a removal guide like the one below. For optimal results, we suggest you check out the steps that follow.


Name Web Assist Search
Type Adware/Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms Slight but irritating modifications in the browser such as homepage changes, auto redirects and aggressive ads generation.
Distribution Method File bundles, spam messages, email attachments, automatic software installers, click-bait ads.
Detection Tool

Not Available

Remove Web Assist Search from Mac

For a quick way to remove Web Assist Search try to do this inside your Mac browser:

  1. Open your Mac browser.
  2. Go to Preferences.
  3. Now navigate to the extensions sub-menu.
  4. Look for any unfamiliar entries, including Web Assist Search.
  5. Remove Web Assist Search from your Mac as well as any other suspicious-looking items by clicking on the trash bin icon.

If this does not help then continue reading this article for more detailed instructions on how to get rid of Web Assist Search!

Web Assist Search Mac

The first thing you need to do is to Quit Safari (if it is opened). If you have trouble closing it normally, you may need to Force Quit Safari:

You can choose the Apple menu and click on Force Quit.

Alternatively, you can simultaneously press (the Command key situated next to the space bar), Option (the key right next to it) and Escape (the key located at the upper left corner of your keyboard).

If you have done it right a dialog box titled Force Quit Applications will open up.

In this new dialog window select Safari, then press the Force Quit button, then confirm with Force Quit again.

Close the dialog box/window.

Web Assist Search Mac


Start Activity Monitor by opening up Finder, then proceed to Web Assist Search Mac

Once there, look at all the processes: if you believe any of them are hijacking your results, or are part of the problem, highlight the process with your mouse, then click the “i” button at the top. This will open up the following box:

Web Assist Search Mac

Now click on Sample at the bottom:

Web Assist Search Mac

Do this for all processes you believe are part of the threat, and run any suspicious files in our online virus scanner, then delete the malicious files:

Web Assist Search Mac
Drag and Drop Files Here to Scan
Maximum file size: 128MB.

This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at: https://howtoremove.guide/online-virus-scanner/

Scan Results

Virus Scanner Result
Web Assist Search MacClamAV
Web Assist Search MacAVG AV
Web Assist Search MacMaldet

Web Assist Search Mac

The next step is to safely launch Safari again. Press and hold the Shift key while relaunching Safari. This will prevent Safari’s previously opened pages from loading again. Once Safari is opened up, you can release the Shift key.

On the off chance that you are still having trouble with scripts interrupting the closing of unwanted pages in Safari, you may need to take some additional measures.

First, Force Quit Safari again.

Now if you are using a Wi-Fi connection turn it off by selecting Wi-Fi off in you Mac’s Menu. If you are using a cable internet (Ethernet connection), disconnect the Ethernet cable.

Web Assist Search Mac

Re-Launch Safari but don’t forget to press and hold the Shift button while doing it, so no previous pages can be opened up. Now, Click on Preferences in the Safari menu,

Web Assist Search Mac

and then again on the Extensions tab,

Web Assist Search Mac

Select and Uninstall any extensions that you don’t recognize by clicking on the Uninstall button. If you are not sure and don’t want to take any risks you can safely uninstall all extensions, none are required for normal system operation.
Web Assist Search Mac

The threat has likely infected all of your browsers. The instructions below need to be applied for all browsers you are using.

Again select Preferences in the Safari Menu, but this time click on the Privacy tab,
Web Assist Search Mac

Now click on Remove All Website Data, confirm with Remove Now. Keep in mind that after you do this all stored website data will be deleted. You will need to sign-in again for all websites that require any form of authentication.

Still in the Preferences menu, hit the General tab

Web Assist Search Mac

Check if your Homepage is the one you have selected, if not change it to whatever you prefer.
Web Assist Search Mac

Select the History menu this time, and click on Clear History. This way you will prevent accidentally opening a problematic web page again.

Web Assist Search Mac How to Remove Web Assist Search From Firefox in OSX:

Open Firefox, click on Web Assist Search Mac (top right) ——-> Add-ons. Hit Extensions next.

Web Assist Search Mac

The problem should be lurking somewhere around here – Remove it. Then Refresh Your Firefox Settings.

Web Assist Search MacHow to Remove Web Assist Search From Chrome in OSX:

Start Chrome, click Web Assist Search Mac —–>More Tools —–> Extensions. There, find the malware and select Web Assist Search Mac.

Web Assist Search Mac

Click Web Assist Search Mac again, and proceed to Settings —> Search, the fourth tab, select Manage Search Engines. Delete everything but the search engines you normally use. After that Reset Your Chrome Settings.

If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!


About the author


Lidia Howler

Lidia is a web content creator with years of experience in the cyber-security sector. She helps readers with articles on malware removal and online security. Her strive for simplicity and well-researched information provides users with easy-to-follow It-related tips and step-by-step tutorials.

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